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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking that we used when we created them
What is CBT?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a structured psychotherapy that helps you identify the habitual thinking patterns (cognitions) and behaviours that can impact your mood, and prevent you from living the life you truly desire.
Not only does CBT help you identify these negative thinking traps, but it will also help you to develop strategies to change these thoughts, through practice both in and out of session. CBT is what we in the counselling world call a "skills based" counselling method. It is a very helpful first step in changing the way you think, so you can change the way you feel.
Another component of CBT, largely used in certain anxiety disorders, is exposure therapy. Exposure therapy is based off of the principal that when we gradually confront the things that contribute to our anxiety, our body and mind learns that we have the confidence to face those things we once thought we did not. It is analagous to entering a hot tub: At first, your body is shocked by the heat, but as you stay longer, your bodily will naturally adjust to the temperature. In this same way, when we face what contributes to our anxiety, our body will naturally regulate itself over time and reduce the anxiety we feel. Exposure therapy is one of the most empirically validated treatments for certain types of anxiety (Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety, Specific Phobias, OCD).
Limitations of CBT
CBT in and of itself, however, does not always work for everyone. You might be one of those people who have uttered the phrase, "I can logically believe "x" but emotionally I still feel "y". This is not uncommon, especially with individuals who may experience trauma. For this reason, Dan focuses not only on CBT, but other emotional processing therapies, including Internal Family Systems Therapy.
Is CBT right for me?
CBT has been shown, on average, to be highly effective in treating depression and anxiety. By helping you change the way you interpret the world, and testing out new ways to act, CBT changes your brain to think and feel in a new way.
However, just because it works for most people, does not necessarily mean it is the right fit for you. This is where Dan turns to Internal Family Systems Therapy. This therapy will allow you to gain closer access to the parts of you that carry emotional distress, and work at releasing these emotional burdens in a compassionate, understanding way.